Monday, September 01, 2008

What's in a name?

One of the interesting things I have found living and visiting the East coast is how connected to family history people are. I find it fascinating to hear people talk about where their grandparents or great grandparents came from. We didn't really have this on the West coast. My theory is that it took longer for the West to be settled, so there is a generation or two that is separated from their families who may have stayed on the East side of the continent, or remained in their "homelands."

A while back, I saw an ad for ancestry.com while watching something on the history channel. I decided to take advantage of their three-day trial just to see what it was like. I sat down at my computer, and much to my amazement, within about 20 minutes I was able to trace my grandmother's side of the family back about 500 years to Notinghamshire, England (Mullins, to Flint, to Flynte). I didn't get far on my maternal grandfather's side. But I was curious about the name. I thought I knew that Mullins was derived from the French. I didn't realize that there is also an Irish derivative. My mom's cousin sent me some family history on disk a while back. But it wasn't very well organized. Some word documents and powerpoint shows. I keep saying that I should go through and sort them out some day. I wasn't so lucky on my father's side either. I got to my great grandfather and hit a roadblock. I'm not sure if anyone has done any studies there.

I don't have any delusions of finding famous ancestors or claim to fame of any sort. It's all just a curiosity. Who knows. Maybe I'll decide to subscribe to ancestry.com someday. I have lots of photos I could scan and share. There might be someone else out there who would be excited to see them.

No comments: